Are you looking for easy, inexpensive training treats you can make for your dog without turning on the oven? We’ve got two super easy recipes to share for hot dog training treats for your dog–made using your microwave or a dehydrator!
This treat is great as a training treat; once cooked, the treats shrivel up to about the size of a dime, are dry, and have the consistence of jerky. And, best of all, you can make them in the microwave (or in a dehydrator)!
All you need for this recipe is a package of hot dogs.
Actually I bought two package of hot dogs: one package of turkey hot dogs and one package of all-beef hot dogs.
Can dogs eat hot dogs?
Hot dogs–while not balanced as a meal–make an easy and popular training treat that you’ll feed in small portions.
As if you were buying them for yourself to eat, purchase the best hot dogs you can afford–organic, if available.
Be sure you check the ingredients list to avoid any hot dogs containing onion powder.
Also, look for hot dogs without nitrates, nitrites and artificial colors, if at all possible. (Remember: when you find hot dogs on sale, you can buy them up and put them in the freezer until you need them.)
How to dehydrate hot dogs in a dehydrator OR an oven
It’s very easy to dehydrate hot dogs for your dog in your dehydrator.
Don’t have a dehydrator? You can also use your oven to dehydrate hot dogs. Set the oven to its lowest temperature.
First, slice the hot dogs to about 1/4 inch thickness:
You could then cut these slices in half, but realize that the training treats will shrink when dehydrated. Also, I dehydrate mine to the point where they’re easy to toss in my dog walking bag–but not to the point of complete dehydration where it would be impossible to break them in half. I can still break mine in two for just a tiny taste.
Next, place the hot dog slices on the dehydrator tray. I also used a mesh tray over the dehydrator tray so the small pieces wouldn’t slide through the rack.
Next, plug in the dehydrator!
It took my batch of hot dogs about four hours to dehydrate–but your drying time will vary depending on the humidity in your house and the temperature at which your dehydrator runs.
When done, I put a day’s supply in my dog walking bag and I keep the remainder in the refrigerator (for up to a week.)
See our post Dehydrated Dog Treats: Your Ultimate Guide to Making Treats and Chews for more easy dehydrator treat recipes!
How to prepare the hot dog training treats in the microwave
Prefer to use the microwave?
Cut the hot dogs into about 1/4-inch pieces. (Line up the hot dogs side-by-side and cut three or four at a time to speed things up.)
Put the hot dog medallions on about six layers of paper towels. I prefer white paper towels with no designs.
Next, pop everything (including those paper towels) in the microwave. (I cooked mine in two batches.)
Set the microwave for five minutes–but see below:
NOTE: Microwave times will vary depending on your microwave. When some hot dog slices darken around the edges, they’re done.
At the end of five minutes, you should see plenty of grease on the paper towels; take another paper towel and dab off all grease on top of the hot dogs.
I flipped the hot dogs over (just move the paper towel around a little and they’ll roll around) then returned them to the microwave for another three minutes, checked them again, then microwaved them an additional two minutes.
Here’s how they’ll look when they’re done and right out of the microwave:
After they cool completely, they’ll shrivel up (especially the turkey hot dogs which are drier).
Whether you include them in a picnic with your dog or use them as everyday training treats, your dog will definitely celebrate these treats!
I put a handful of treats in my dog walking bag then refrigerate the remainder. If you make more than you’ll use in a week, you can freeze these!
- 1 package hot dogs (turkey or beef, preferably organic)
- Cut hot dogs into small slices about 1/4 inch thick.
- If you choose, divide each slice into two or four pieces for training purposes.
- Place hot dog slices on a stack of six paper towels.
- Cover with a paper towel.
- Microwave for three-five minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave.
- Uncover and stir hot dog slices to make sure they are cooking evenly.
- Microwave an additional three minutes if needed.
- Remove from microwave. Blot all excess oil.
- Cool completely before serving.
- Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze.
Can dogs eat uncooked hot dogs?
Hot dogs aren’t really raw–they have been pre-cooked at the factory. However, like many ready to eat foods, they are made with the idea of cooking the meat before serving which makes it safer for your dog and for you. While it probably won’t hurt your dog to eat some uncooked hot dogs (sliced into small pieces to reduce the choking risk), it is safer to cook the hot dogs. Depending on how the hot dogs have been handled or stored, they could harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella or Listeria, which can be harmful to both pets and humans.
Can puppies eat hot dogs?
Hot dogs can be a choking hazard, especially for puppies who are more likely to gulp down food without chewing properly. If you do decide to give your puppy a piece of hot dog, ensure it is cut into very small, manageable pieces.
Hot dogs should only be an occasional treat, never making up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. With the large amounts of salt and fats (as well as preservatives and additives), they’re not the best treat for puppies.
Can dogs eat turkey hot dogs?
While turkey hot dogs might be a slightly leaner option compared to traditional beef or pork hot dogs, they still contain many of the same issues as hot dogs. It’s important that they’re served just as a treat, not a meal.
Can dogs eat frankfurters?
Frankfurters, or “franks,” are essentially another term for hot dogs, which are processed meat products. You’ll want to serve them as a small treat, never comprising more than 10 percent of the calories your dog consumes throughout the day.
More Treat Recipes You Might Like
DogTipper features dozens of easy treat recipes; you might enjoy making these for your dog:
Pin it to Remember these Hot Dog Training Treat Recipes!
Cooks: Don’t miss our My Dog Says I’m a Great Cook™ cookbook with over 100 dog treat recipes from the publishers, readers and fans of DogTipper! This paperback book is available in our YUCKY PUPPY gift store!